To Him Who Waits (Henry)

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To Him Who Waits
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A hermit living in a cave is visited by a young woman who expresses her admiration for his lifestyle. However, he rejects her advances due to his devotion to a lost love.

A man, known as the Hermit of the Hudson, lived in a cave on a small mountain spur near the Catskills for ten years. He was a well-educated and refined man who had renounced the world after being jilted in a love affair.

The Hermit of the Hudson — a forty-year-old man with long hair, a forked brown beard, and a gunny-sacking garment; scholarly, witty, and philosophical.

Every Saturday night, the nearby Viewpoint Inn would send him a basket of provisions, and he became a local attraction for the inn's guests.

One day, the hermit met Beatrix, the youngest and most beautiful of the famous Trenholme sisters. She was staying at the inn with her mother and expressed her desire to be a hermit as well.

Beatrix Trenholme (Trix) — the youngest and fairest of the Trenholme sisters; dressed in blue from head to toe; longing for a hermit's life.

"It must be so nice to be a hermit, and have ladies climb mountains to talk to you."

The hermit found himself attracted to Beatrix, and she invited him to visit her at the inn, but not on Thursday evenings.

Later, the hermit's old friend, Bob Binkley, visited him. Bob was a millionaire who had married Edith Carr, the woman who had jilted the hermit.

Bob Binkley — the hermit's old friend; a millionaire with a fat, firm, smooth face and diamond rings.

Edith had divorced Bob two years prior, and Bob suggested that the hermit had wasted his life in the cave. The hermit disagreed, believing that his time in the cave had brought him closer to Beatrix.

"I think a hermit's life is the ideal one. No bill-collectors calling, no dressing for dinner—how I'd like to be one!"

One Thursday evening, the hermit decided to visit the inn. He dressed in his old clothes and dug up a hidden stash of money. When he arrived, he found that there was a dance at the casino and a wedding at the inn. He learned that Beatrix was marrying Bob Binkley that night.

The hermit realized that his ten years of seclusion had not brought him the love he desired, and he returned to his cave, heartbroken.